Target: Governor Rick Perry
Goal: Condemn decision to execute a Mexican national despite international furor
The state government in Texas should be condemned for going ahead with the execution of Edgar Tamayo by lethal injection. Mr. Tamayo was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in Houston in 1994. However, the police failed to inform him of his right to seek legal counsel and assistance from the Mexican consulate. This is required under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, an international treaty to which the United States is a party. Mr. Tamayo’s lawyers, therefore, have argued that he did not receive proper legal counsel during his trial. That is illegal under both international and United States law. The fact that the government of Texas, led by Governor Rick Perry, went ahead with the execution despite these facts is inexcusable.
Honestly, the fact that they continued with the execution should come as no surprise as the government in Texas has repeatedly denied halting executions for similar reasons as the ones presented on the behalf of Mr. Tamayo. Part of the problem is that the United States Supreme Court decided in 2008 that the Vienna Convention couldn’t be enforced on a state-by-state basis. The only time that may occur is if a federal law is enacted implementing the regulations outlined in the Vienna Convention. This should not stop Rick Perry from halting the execution however.
If a Texan were to cross the border and commit a similarly serious crime as Mr. Tamayo’s, he or she would not face a similar fate as Mexico abolished the death penalty nearly a decade ago. This likely lead the government in Texas to be less likely to commute Mr. Tamayo’s sentence as they will not have to worry about a similar situation occurring in Mexico. Either way, this execution was unlawful on both an international and national level. Sign this petition to condemn the state government in Texas for executing Edgar Tamayo.
Dear Governor Rick Perry,
Your government’s decision to continue with the execution of Edgar Tamayo is despicable. It violates both international and national law. The death penalty also robs someone of a basic human right, the right to life. I hope that his mistake will lead your government to review the dozens of other Mexican nationals currently on death row. They must be provided with proper legal counsel from the Mexican consulate.
By proceeding with the execution your state’s government damaged the nations relations with Mexico, an important ally. This illegal action should not go unrecognized. The international community has once again turned to look down on our country because of the actions of your state. I ask you to not repeat this mistake.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: via Wikipedia Commons